Desert Durum® is a registered certification mark of the Arizona Grain Research and Promotion Council and the California Wheat Commission, which authorize its use only to designate durum grown under irrigation in the desert valleys and lowlands of Arizona and California.

Desert Durum® can be produced and delivered “identity preserved” to domestic and export markets, which allows customers to purchase grain with quality traits specific to their processing needs. Annual requirements can be pre-contracted with grain merchandisers ahead of the fall-winter planting season for harvest in late May through early July. Varietal identity is maintained by experienced growers planting certified seed and merchandisers who store and ship according to customers’ preferred delivery schedules.

Desert Durum® exhibits consistently large kernels and low moisture, traits that contribute to efficient transportation costs and high extraction rates. The 2021 crop will deliver the valuable milling, semolina and pasta quality traits that customers have learned to expect and appreciate.


Desert Durum® Production acreage in 2021 was lower than 2020. According to USDA, yields were 2.61 tons/acre, and quality was uniformly good. Powell was the most widely grown variety in California and Arizona. Alberto was the second most grown durum variety.

2021 Crop Quality Highlights

  • The overall grade sample average for the 2021 Desert Durum® harvest survey is U.S. No. 1 Hard Amber Durum (HAD).
  • Test weight is indicative of sound wheat and a uniform crop with an average of 83.2 kg/hl (63.9 lb/bu).
  • Average Damaged kernels are 0% and Total defects are 0.6%.
  • The average Vitreous kernel (HVAC) content is 98.7%, a high average typical of Desert Durum®.
  • Wheat protein content average is 13.9% (12% mb), consistent with the 5-year average.
  • Kernel moisture content is low at 7.5%, a characteristic of Desert Durum®.
  • The semolina b* value is 32.5, similar to last year’s 32.7
  • Wet gluten average is 36.1% and Gluten index average is 69.
  • Mixograph score is 7.0 and alveograph W value is 191 (10-4 J).
  • Spaghetti color b* value is 44 and color SCORE is 10.1, higher than last year and the 5-year average.
  • Spaghetti cooked firmness average is 7.2, similar to last year and above the 5-year average

For more information on 2021 Desert Durum® crop quality, review the detailed report on the U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) website.

2021 California Hard Red Winter Wheat

California’s wheat growing regions are defined by climate, value of alternative crops and distinct differences in variety selection. Most California hard wheat is planted from October to January and harvested in June and July. With the strong demand for new crop wheat in the domestic marketplace, importers are encouraged to express their interest in purchasing California wheat in early spring.

California hard wheat varieties are known for their low moisture and large and uniform kernel size. Because wheat is predominantly grown under irrigation, growers achieve high yields and consistent quality. Overall, the majority of the 2021 crop has medium protein. Consistent with other years, the 2021 crop has low moisture, high flour extraction and strong baking performance — all of which make California wheat suitable for blending.

Weather and Production

California had below average rainfall in 2020/21, and in wheat growing regions rainfall was just over 50% of the 10-year average. Drought in the Sacramento Valley and the northern San Joaquin Valley was even more pronounced; this negatively affected stand establishment and early growth and was compounded by predation of stands by migratory geese. Disease incidence was relatively low; however, stripe rust was reported in the Delta region and the northern San Joaquin Valley. Weather during grain filling was dry and average-to-cooler-than-average in much of the state. Overall, yields were average or below average.

2021 Crop Quality Highlights

  • The overall grade sample average collected for the 2021 California HRW harvest survey is U.S. No. 1 HRW.
  • Test weight averages are indicative of sound wheat and a uniform crop with a medium protein average of 83.2 kg/hl (63.3 lb/bu) and high protein average of 81.7 kg/hl (62.1 lb/bu).
  • Kernel moisture content is low with medium protein at 9.6% and high protein at 9.7%.
  • The average wheat falling number for medium and high protein was 344 seconds and 369 seconds, respectively.
  • Laboratory mill flour extraction for medium protein was 68.2% and high protein was 66.6%.
  • This crop demonstrates excellent baking performance with an average loaf volume or medium protein at 900 cc and high protein at 945 cc.

For more information on 2021 California hard red winter and hard white crop quality, review the detailed report on the USW website.

2021 Crop Quality Data on Other U.S. Wheat Classes

Hard Red Spring
Soft White
Hard Red Winter
Soft Red Winter
Northern Durum
Hard White